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Monday, April 11, 2011

Playing the Special Dulcimers of Special People

Within the past year I've been blessed to have the opportunity to play some special dulcimers previously owned and played by famous people.


This weekend, Maria Hubler let me play the dulcimer made by Terry Hennessy (of New South Wales, Australia) for Mimi Fariña on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the organization she founded, Bread and Roses.
Headstock of Mimi's Terry Hennessy
25th Anniversary dulcimer

I had just completed a Bread and Roses gig for the North Bay Children's Center in Novato, California, when I stopped by offices of this amazing organization, whose tagline is "Hope and Healing through Music."

This instrument is gorgeous with a sensitive touch and rich responsiveness.

This hat trick completed a trifecta that I didn't even know I was trying for!


While visiting Robert and Janet Force in their Port Townsend, WA home last summer, 

I was able to play an instrument that Albert d'Ossche had built, which had returned to Robert recently.  

He also pulled Al's touring instrument out from under the bed and I strummed it and he told great stories!    

Here we are jamming on Robert and Janet's  back porch in the Saturday sun after the Port Townsend Market Day!


2006 National Mountain Dulcimer Champion, Jeff Hames, graciously invited me to sit in with him for a couple of blues tunes in his mini-concert set at the Western Carolina University Mountain Dulcimer Week (July 2010)

In doing so, I was able to play the black mountain dulcimer that his teacher, the late David Schnaufer gave to him.

We always have great fun playing together, but this time was special because of the special instrument from a special mentor.

Musicians often joke about other people "putting tunes into instruments" when someone else plays it.  I love to join in that one, too, but in this case, I found inspiration to play in each instrument.  

And that IS special.